Start date: Tuesday 2 April 2019
Value: £66,900
Company size: SME
Department for Education

Teaching job share matching discovery

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

37 Completed applications

32 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Thursday 14 February 2019
Deadline for asking questions
Thursday 21 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Thursday 28 February 2019 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
We require a supplier with experience delivering digital services that meet users' needs in line with the GDS Digital Service Standard to complete a discovery exploring how a job share matching service could help teachers get the flexible roles they need.
Latest start date
Monday 1 April 2019
Expected contract length
6 - 8 weeks
Organisation the work is for
Department for Education
Budget range
£74250 (excluding VAT)

About the work

Why the work is being done
The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy’ sets out our vision to make sure careers in teaching are attractive, rewarding and sustainable. We want more teachers in the profession.

As their life circumstances change, many teachers would like more flexible working patterns and career journeys, but these opportunities can be hard to find within teaching.

Further to our initial research, during this discovery we would like to explore how a job matching service could make it easier for teachers to find flexible roles, increase awareness of flexible working policy and help recruit and retain high-quality teachers.
Problem to be solved
Some teachers cannot get the flexible jobs they need.

Discovery should explore:

• Users' needs around teachers finding flexible work/job sharing
• Services currently meeting user needs
• The barriers to job sharing in teaching
• Schools' needs to recruit and manage job sharing teachers
• Exercises to prototype and test how a job share matching service could meet these needs
• Analysis to support a DfE business case
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a former teacher, I need to find a flexible job so that I can return to work.

As a teacher, I need to find a job share so that I can better balance my work and home life.

As a headteacher, I need to understand job sharing so that staff in my school will stay.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The User-centred design team has completed a discovery on the teacher recruitment and retention strategy and the Behavioural Insights Team have produced a research note. The teacher vacancies service has also researched flexible working needs. These will be shared with the successful supplier.

Background information and research on flexible working for teachers can be viewed in the DfE teacher recruitment and retention strategy.
Existing team
A product manager and a small team of civil servants will be in place to work with the discovery team as part of this requirement.
Current phase
Not started

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Department for Education
20 Great Smith St
Working arrangements
Co-located working principally from the DfE's London office, maximising opportunity for engagement with the policy unit and stakeholders. Some travel to meet users is likely. In relation to expenses, this must be included in the contract sum, there is not a separate budget for expenses. Operate a standard agile methodology: daily stand-us, sprint planning, sprints, retrospectives, show and tells. Supplier will lead by being a role model in agile working.
Security clearance
BPSS as a minimum.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
Standard Framework and Call Off Terms and Conditions. Expenses must be pre-agreed and comply with CCS Travel and Subsistence Policy. Any expenses shall be submitted in line with DfE standard T&S policy. Primary work location stated in SoW will not attract expenses. Contract and Vendor Management will form a key part of governance and suppliers will be expected to co-operate in a manner that fosters healthy working relationships and quality delivery. Suppliers must provide sufficient guarantees to meet the requirements of GDPR in line with Procurement Policy Note 03/17 Changes to Data Protection Legislation & General Data Protection Regulation.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Recent and demonstrable experience in delivering evidence-based research to inform a user-centred design, focused on user needs, end-to-end user journeys, motivations and goals.
  • Recent and demonstrable experience of designing and developing digital services that meet identified user needs and business objectives.
  • Recent demonstrable experience delivering discovery agile projects according to Government Digital Standards (GDS), including GDS Service Design Manual; the Digital Service Standard Assessment; Technology Code of Practice; wider industry standards.
  • Recent and demonstrable evidence of managing and delivering discovery and alpha projects, meeting all requirements and successfully delivering outcomes within specified timescales.
  • Be agnostic of any particular software, enabling us to consider a range of options to meet user needs.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Demonstrable evidence of working successfully with users in the school/education landscape or in similar public services contexts.
  • Experience of successful delivery with UK public sector organisations of a similar size and scope to the DfE.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Evidence that the proposed approach and methodology for discovery will successfully ascertain user needs and meet specified objectives.
  • Proposed plan of activities with clear deliverables and dates demonstrating the ability to complete the delivery of the discovery within the required timescales.
  • Proposed supplier team structure, with evidence to demonstrate a strong team and how their skills and experience will deliver the required outcome.
  • Identification of key assumptions, dependencies, risk and issues, with robust approaches to addressing them.
  • Evidence of how the proposal represents value for money for DfE.
  • Proposed workable and flexible approach to co-location of the team with DfE.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Demonstrate your approach to engaging with internal senior stakeholders undergoing cultural change and how this will support project success.
  • Demonstrate how you will work transparently, collaboratively and share your approach with the DfE project team and seek actionable feedback.
  • Demonstrate approach to knowledge and skills transfer to permanent members of staff.
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Work history
  • Reference
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please can you provide details of what the next steps are following this initial application i.e. deadlines for the written proposal/presentation?
Our planned timetable is:
- We will notify shortlisted suppliers by Monday 4 March
- We will ask supplier to provide a written proposal by Monday 11 March
- We will invite suppliers to present on Tuesday 12 March
2. Can you host a call with suppliers about this opportunity where we can have a live Q&A and the discussion notes are shared on this tender ad? This has proven helpful on other DM opportunities.
We will not be holding a QA call for this requirement.
3. Who from your team will be scoring applications for this opportunity and what positions do they hold?
The selection panel will be formed of panel members representing digital, and policy within DfE.
4. Are you working with any existing suppliers in relation to this tender opportunity? If you are, who are they?
We have not worked with any suppliers in relation to this tender opportunity.
5. In addition to the teacher recruitment and retention strategy is there any additional information completed in discovery that you are able to share?
We can only share additional information with the successful supplier.
6. Will the team need to have access to DfE hardware in order to undertake the work?
The team will not need access to DfE hardware in order to undertake the work.
7. Do you have any metrics from discovery about what proportion of teachers leaving are due to the lack of job sharing opportunities?
We do not have these metrics from the teacher recruitment and retention discovery. Teachers leave the profession for a variety of reasons and we have not measured what proportion leave specifically due to a lack of job sharing opportunities.
8. Is there are an expectation that the supplier will complete any technical discovery work in addition to user research and business analysis?
We do not intend to explore the technical feasibility of the service during discovery.
9. Will the supplier be responsible for participant recruitment and associated costs? Do you have existing contacts or will recruitment have to be undertaken from the general population?
Yes, the supplier will be responsible for participant recruitment and associated costs. DfE holds lists of existing contacts but will require some recruitment from the general population.
10. How many stakeholders do you expect will need to be consulted as part of this discovery?
There is no expectation on number of stakeholders but we expect to engage with a broad range of people throughout the discovery.
11. What roles are DfE expecting suppliers to provide? In addition, are you expecting all roles to have the ability to be full time?
We would expect suppliers to propose what they think is an appropriate team based on the outcomes stated in the requirement and the appropriate working patterns. There is no specific requirement for every role to be full time.
12. In order to compare suppliers like for like, how will price be evaluated
We will evaluate price in line with the evaluation criteria set out on the digital marketplace. Price is evaluated on how close each suppliers price is to the cheapest quote and is weighted by 20% -
13. Will the scores from the evidencing round be taken through to final evaluation? Or will they only be used for the purposes of shortlisting suppliers?
Scores from the evidencing round will only be used for shortlisting and not be taken through to evaluation.
14. Has any other supplier been engaged with this project so far?
No suppliers have been engaged so far.
15. What roles are DfE expecting to provide and will these all be full time?
For discovery DfE aims to provide a Senior Responsible Officer who will have oversight of the discovery, a Product Manager who will provide direction and DfE context and engagement Lead to provide links with the broader organisation. We expect these to be full time.
16. Will there be a full time Product Owner provided by DfE to this project?
No. There will be a Senior Responsible Officer and a full time Product Manager assigned to this project.
17. Are DfE able to recruit and provide access to users for the purpose of user research?
DfE should be able to recruit and provide access to some users. DfE holds lists of existing contacts but will require some recruitment from the general population.
18. Are DfE able to continue straight into the Alpha phase with the same supplier with no air gap between phases?
We plan to move straight from discovery to alpha but this will be dependent on gaining DfE internal approvals to proceed. We will need to award a new contract for Alpha.
19. Is there a preferred technology stack within the DfE estate?
DfE is creating a consistent technology stack across our new services:
- Microservices architecture, with internal HTTP and JSON REST based APIs for business logic and data access.
-User facing websites built using Ruby on Rails by preference, or C# .NET Core, deployed to the DfE Azure PaaS.
-Code hosted in the DfE Digital github repository, builds done via Travis-CI.
-Use one of the provided databases managed on DfE Azure e.g. Postgres.
-Implementation of the technology stack to be configured using code using Terraform.

Suppliers are expected to meet these standards or discuss and agree any exceptions with DfE.
20. Is there an expectation for how long during a week DfE would like suppliers onsite?
We would expect suppliers to be onsite in our Central London office full time during working hours.
21. As there is a duration and budget specified, can we assume work for the Discovery phase been limited and prioritised?
Yes, this discovery work has been prioritised by the DfE leadership.
22. Will DfE be able to organise access to stakeholders throughout the project?
Yes DfE will be able to organise access to stakeholders for the discovery team.
23. Are you looking for an organisation with GDS assessment experience or just certain individuals proposed in the supplier team?
We are looking for an organisation who have experience of working according to Government Digital Standards. Part of the essential skills and experience for this requirement is -

Recent demonstrable experience delivering discovery agile projects according to Government Digital Standards (GDS), including GDS Service Design Manual; the Digital Service Standard Assessment; Technology Code of Practice; wider industry standards.
24. For the first evaluation round (evidence), what would DfE expect to see from an answer for it to be deemed 'exceeding' and score 3 marks?
The panel would expect to see how you meet and go above and beyond the skills and experience criteria listed for the requirement.
25. As per DOS guidelines 'You should only provide one example for each essential or nice-to-have requirement', are DfE only requesting one example per skills and experience question?
Yes, we expect suppliers to follow the DOS guidelines.
26. How would DfE like suppliers to present expenses (separate rechargeable or included in day rates based on assumption for travel)?
There is no separate budget for expenses. Any expenses must be included in the contract sum.